How to Prevent Extra Rings using Google Voice as Voicemail

google-voicemail-thumbNow that Google Voice’s voicemail can be added to your existing phone number (giving you great features like searchable voicemail, free voice transcription, custom greetings, and email/SMS notification), you may have noticed that callers have to wait through way too many rings before your Google voicemail picks up the call.

Here’s how it plays out:

- Call initiated
[ Phone rings 4-5 times ]
Call forwarded to Google Voice
[ Google Voice rings 2-3 additional times ]
Google Voicemail takes the call -

That gives you a grand total of up to 8 rings, which is a long time to be waiting on the other line.  Here’s a quick-and-easy solution to removing the extra rings from Google Voice:

Note: This guide is only for users who have replaced their voicemail with Google Voice.  If you’re using Google Voice to forward calls to multiple numbers, this will mess that up.

Step 1: Log into Google Voice and click ‘Settings’ in the top right corner of the window.

google-voicemail-settings

Step 2: Click the ‘Edit’ button under your current cell phone number.

google-voicemail-editphone

Step 3: Click ‘Show advanced settings’.

google-voicemail-advanced

Step 4: Under Forwarding Options, select ‘Go straight to voicemail’.  Click Save and repeat this process for any other phones you have in Google Voice.

google-voicemail-voicemailsettings

From my testing, my phone now goes seamlessly to my Google voicemail without any extra rings in between.  The nice part about this trick is that you’ll still be able to send/receive SMS to your phone (which would be lost if you simply removed the phone from the forwarding list).

Have any tricks for getting the most out of Google Voice?  Share them in the comments!

  • bert

    I completed the advanced option and it works. The only problem now is that the call is forwarded to GV and is retrievable using the phones. However, there is not sms notification, no transcription, no gmail. It is as if the internet apps do not know that the voice mail was ever recorded. And, yes, I did activate the cell phone for Google voicemail and saved the settings.
    One possible explanation might be that this is a T-Mobile phone and it is prepaid and somehow Google knows that, but I can't imagine how. It works well with my Google Voice number.
    A second explanation might be that Google needs a day or so to implement. I will check back in a couple of days.
    I would appreciate your views.
    A real fan of GV

    • None

      This started working for me instantly. Transcription works too.

    • Jay

      After four years this still is the perfect solution. Just bought the nexus 5 and the phone rang 15 times when calls are routed to GV. This tip fixed the issue and texts and visual voicemail works just fine.

  • bert

    I completed the advanced option and it works. The only problem now is that the call is forwarded to GV and is retrievable using the phones. However, there is not sms notification, no transcription, no gmail. It is as if the internet apps do not know that the voice mail was ever recorded. And, yes, I did activate the cell phone for Google voicemail and saved the settings.
    One possible explanation might be that this is a T-Mobile phone and it is prepaid and somehow Google knows that, but I can't imagine how. It works well with my Google Voice number.
    A second explanation might be that Google needs a day or so to implement. I will check back in a couple of days.
    I would appreciate your views.
    A real fan of GV

    • None

      This started working for me instantly. Transcription works too.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention How to Prevent Extra Rings using Google Voice as Voicemail | Techerator -- Topsy.com()

  • Pingback: How to Replace Your Boring Voicemail with Google Voice | Techerator()

  • Richard

    When using my phone number does SMS work? I thought not.

  • Richard

    When using my phone number does SMS work? I thought not.

  • Nick Thompson

    Works for me. Could be the best ever answer, to an issue I thought was definitely not going to be fixable, I have found on a forum page.

  • Nick Thompson

    Works for me. Could be the best ever answer, to an issue I thought was definitely not going to be fixable, I have found on a forum page.

  • http://www.RadioTrainWreck.com/ Michael Vandeven

    thanks for this. works fine on verizon. decreased wait time by 1 ring.

  • http://www.RadioTrainWreck.com/ Michael Vandeven

    thanks for this. works fine on verizon. decreased wait time by 1 ring.

  • gabriel

    many thanks for the tip!

  • gabriel

    many thanks for the tip!

  • Pinkbillows

    thanks– people were never staying on long enough to leave a voicemail (literally took 12 rings for GV VM to pick up). now people calling me should be happy and I’ll be happier cuz I’ll know why they called. :)

  • Mejp3

    thank you!

  • Preserved

    There is another option for home/business phone lines with the simultaneous ring option (usually with VoIP providers.) Set it to ring simultaneously home/business line and GV. Set the home/business line to answer after 4 rings. That way the local phone gets most voice mail. If the home/business phone is being used, the GV number records the message, and if selected sends the message to a gmail address. It is also accessible under GV Messages. This cuts the wait time considerably. Test the time first – you may have to set local rings to 3.

  • David Kirkpatrick

    The above page is very stale. Google voice settings have changed to make the changeable settings under phones very different an unlike what is described above. What’s mentioned above is missing from the new GV interface. In fact there is a great deal of dated info on the net about GV which makes getting things done very difficult Also there is the carrier side that do not react the same with Google, like Sprint, Virgin versus Verizon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.ferragine Andrew Ferragine

    After some playing around, I was able to get this trick to work. But I’ll add some comments in the event that others make the same mistake I did.

    When looking at your mobile number on the screen ‘forwards to’, you must make sure that the checkbox next to your mobile number is checked for this to work.

    I had assumed that the checkbox was only related to people calling my google voice number, but I was trying to change the number of rings for people calling my mobile number directly. So, even though I was performing the steps above, they did not work until I had enabled that number as a forwarding number.

    It seemed to me at first that GV shouldn’t actually be forwarding anything. However on second thought, calls are forwarded from my phone to GV, and now GV is forwarding them back to my phone. So I guess that does make sense that you need to check the box first ;)

    • Jevon Morris

      I disagree that it makes sense about forwarding the calls back to me. But this however is what it takes to work for some reason!!!!

    • ds17

      I hadn’t checked the forwarding box because I thought calls to my Google Voice number would just automatically be forwarded to my cell phone and I wouldn’t be able to answer them on my home phone. And so I could never stop the extra rings — first my cell phone would ring 4 or 5 times, and if I didn’t or couldn’t answer it, then the home phone would ring another 4 or 5 times, and then voicemail would come on. After I checked the ‘Forwards calls to’ box for my cell phone(along with the ‘Go straight to voicemail’ box, which hadn’t worked before), both my home phone, when reached directly by its GV number, and cell phone ring pretty much simultaneously — but there are only 5 rings before voicemail kicks in, both when the cell phone is called and when the GV home phone is called. I tried to silence the additional ringing of the cell phone when the home GV phone is called, by editing the advanced settings to ‘Never ring’ on weekends and weekdays, but that brought back the accursed 10 rings to voicemail when the cell phone is called; so I had to leave those settings on ‘Always ring’, and just mute the cell phone if I don’t want to hear it when someone calls my home phone — I can always hear the home phone, and pick up the call on either phone. When someone calls my cell phone, voice mail goes on after 5 rings, but there is no transfer to or notification on my home phone. I have an OBi200 VoIP phone adapter configured with Google Voicemail.

  • dan

    I have my landline that rings four times. If I am not by telephone on my desk or out of the office, after four rings it forwards to my Google voice number.
    My Google voice number is set up to bring automatically to my Verizon cell phone. When I first set this up last year, the Google voice would ring once or twice and now I rings five or six times before going to voicemail.
    The ice, with the landline ringing four times, and the Google voice number ringing five or six times, many people hang up and give me feedback when I talk to them that my phone rings way too much.
    My question is how can I change it to be set up so my landline rings four times in Google voice rings one time or just goes straight to voicemail?

  • radone242

    Thank you. I was losing business because of the lengthy ringtime.

  • Nikonor

    Thanks Evan! I’ve been struggling for months with people telling me it takes too many rings to reach my Google VM box. Works great now. Unfortunately my Verizon service still rings 6 times before forwarding the caller to GV. I guess I’ll give them a call about that.

    Thanks for a great explanation of how to do this.

  • None

    Thank you for this answer! People have been very annoyed with me.

  • Tim Nixon

    Awesome…this post is almost 5 years old but still very relevant…thanks for posting. Worked like a charm!

  • Mike Hawk

    This options is now useless. The forwarding options for GV now say “When someone calls this phone directly and I dont pick up”. What that means is that there is still a ring count before GV bothers to do anything with the call. Most people donnt bother leaving me any VM at all anymore because it takes damn 45 seconds between Verizon forwarding the call and GV ringing out before it ever actually goes into VM.